“I would like to remember everything I have seen, read, heard! »

La Croix-L’Hebdo : What makes you get up in the morning?

Claire Besnier: That’s a very good question, because I’m not much of a morning person, precisely. (Smiles.) In the morning, I get up as late as possible and take as little time as possible to get ready. But what makes me get up is the prospect of all the new discoveries I’m going to make, of all the human contacts I’m going to be able to make in one day.

I am not an outgoing person but I need these contacts, need to meet people from very diverse backgrounds. The public is a very important dimension of my work. I arrive at the media library, I have a coffee, a moment of concentration in my office and it’s good, I’m on the attack!

At work, how is it going?

CC: Pretty good, because it’s very much alive and still evolving. I have been in this position for four years, and I still feel like I have things to learn. It’s very fulfilling because the librarian is an actor in the field.

The media library for which I am responsible is located in the popular district of Antony, with a mixed population. We are aimed at everyone: toddlers – the youngest user is 3 months old! –, seniors, teenagers. The latter come to work, the seniors use the computers, the adults write CVs or print documents. You can play video games, learn French if you are a foreigner. There are plenty of reasons to go through the door, apart from simply borrowing books!

Our building is on a square, not far from the metro, its facade is green… I don’t know how we could be more visible! And yet, there are still many brakes. Some do not dare to enter, have not been made aware of books, consider that this type of place of culture is not for them… so it is up to us to approach these people, by forging partnerships with associations, by carrying out cultural actions around the library.

The idea is to reach other parents, other children, like this mother, recently, who could neither read nor write, but accompanied her son. This forces you to be creative, because this public is not acquired. Working in a popular neighborhood gives a thousand times more meaning to the job!

Who do you trust?

CC: I have confidence in my close circle: family, friends, my companion, who are pillars of my life and allow me to face the vagaries of everyday life. I also have confidence in teamwork. At the media library we are six, who know why we are there.

In the name of shared values. If the start of the 2022 school year was the most “normal” since the pandemic, behaviors have nevertheless changed. We note that the uncertainty of the next day has remained anchored, people find it difficult to project themselves, to plan in time.

A scene that marked you recently?

CC: There are two. The first is recurring. In the morning, I take public transport: as I am lucky that they are not too crowded, it is for me a decompression chamber before the office. I read, I listen to the news. And there’s always a moment when I look up and see all the passengers with their noses glued to their phones. A scene worthy of the theater of the absurd. I wonder how we got here. Everyone together and at the same time isolated. Hyperconnected to the virtual and disconnected from the real around.

The second scene took place during the performance of a storyteller. She told her story in a very gestural way, and I saw children in the audience reproducing her movements. In these cases, I tell myself that the objective has been achieved: capture attention, develop the imagination!

Something that would change your life right now?

CC: I would dream, like in the script of the movie Limitless, with Bradley Cooper, to swallow a capsule allowing access to all the contents of my brain. Being able to relive my emotions, remember everything I’ve seen, read, heard, that would change my life! (Smiles.) More concretely, having more human resources, of course, would help, even if we are frankly not to be pitied here.

And for tomorrow, an idea to change the world?

CC: Desacralize culture. Because it offers a huge openness to the world and helps develop critical thinking. It is more necessary than ever. And then, child as adult, we all need to dream and understand. Culture helps to approach other universes and to get to know each other better.


“You’ll see, she’s great and thinks well about her job. » This is how some of her relatives speak of Claire Besnier, and with these words they recommend her to a journalist looking for witnesses for the section “The French by themselves”.

At 30, the young woman has been working in a media library for ten years and has been running the media library in Antony, in the Hauts-de-Seine, for four years. Of the 60,000 inhabitants of the city, just under 9,000 are active members (who have used the services of the media library at least once during a given period). If she chose this profession, it was for a double interest: to practice a culture of proximity and a culture of diversity.

Source : BBN NEWS

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